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Practice Pointers - Knowing When to Consider a Lateral Move

Most lawyers (indeed, most professionals) won’t stay at their first job forever. Kudos to those “lifers” who find their perfect fit from the get-go (or decide to stick it out at their first gig), but the rest of us will likely contemplate a lateral move at some point in our careers. And if you fall into the latter category, how do you know when to consider making a move? The answer, of course, will vary depending on the individual lawyer and situation. From personal experience and now, as a legal recruiter, I’ve found that the following are good reasons to…

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Practice Pointers - Working with a Legal Recruiter

Inevitably, at some point in your legal career, you’ll be contacted by a recruiter. Maybe it’s a phone call. Maybe it’s an email or LinkedIn message. One way or another, you’ll hear from one. As a litigator turned recruiter, I’ve been on the receiving end of recruiter calls and now I’m the one reaching out to candidates. And I’ve learned that many young lawyers aren’t really sure how recruiting works, who’s legit, and whether chatting with a recruiter is worth their time. So let’s remove the proverbial veil and get acquainted with legal recruiting. A quick note to start –…

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Practice Pointers - Up-leveling Your Interview Prep

Know what used to give me more butterflies than an actually viable “we both swiped right” first date situation? Interviews. Although, to be fair, interview anticipation was more like having pesky moths or something more insidious eating away at my insides. And I know I can’t be the only one who’s gotten tingly hands and feet at the thought of an interview… So what’s changed? Well, for starters, I’ve done a ton of interviews (both public and private sector) since law school, both as an interviewee and interviewer. And more importantly, I’ve learned how to prepare effectively. So even though…

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Practice Pointers - Managing Expectations

Have you ever had that nightmare where you forgot about a deadline or had two things due at the same time and only managed to finish one? And then you woke up panicked, drenched in sweat, right before the climactic scene in which a partner hurls a series of expletives (and maybe even a stapler) at you? No? Not yet? Well, let’s be sure to keep it that way. One thing they don’t teach you in law school is how to manage expectations when you’re in the real world. That’s more of a “learn as you go and figure it…

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Practice Pointers – Investing in Your Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I couldn’t let these 31 days go by without addressing mental health and the practice of law. So here I am anxiously asking myself what I want to say at 8:41 pm on Sunday, May 31. (Full credit goes to my generalized anxiety disorder for this latest installment of “Natasha psyched herself out and procrastinated yet again even though she knows she shouldn’t.”) It would be the understatement of the year to say that lawyers suffer from a mental health and substance abuse epidemic. ALM’s most recent Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey…

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FREE Virtual Bar Exam Summit - June 5-7, 2020

Bar exam prep sucks. There’s nothing else to say about it. It just sucks. And now, given the pandemic, there are the added questions of when various state bar exams will happen, how bar exam prep timing will change, and oh yes, whether licensure delays will impact your job prospects. Awesome sauce. Well, I have some good news. A former Ms. JD Writer in Residence is on a mission to make bar prep more bearable and effective, especially in what is sure to go down in history as the strangest year ever to take a bar exam. Her name? Kerriann…

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Practice Pointers – Drafting an Effective Resume

Let’s get right to it. For most, resume writing isn’t the sexiest of drafting tasks. But it’s a necessary one. And in what’s become a rapidly tighter job market, you know it’s better to go ahead and tackle that dreaded task now. As Eminem wisely wrote: Look If you had One shot Or one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted Would you capture it Or just let it slip? Pretty sure he wasn’t talking about resume writing, but he might as well have been. Your resume is your first impression, your one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you…

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Practice Pointers – Finding Your Tribe

March 2020 has been… rough. Uncertainty abounds, and Tiger King reigns supreme. Zoom is no longer just something my dog does when she’s got way too much energy. Life’s surreal right now. Very surreal. I’ve been doing my best to get through each day without a mental breakdown, and some days have been especially tough with incessant fears and tears. But this isn’t a post about my anxiety. It’s about what’s been helping me navigate this upside-down world we’re living in: the people in my life. In the past, I’ve rolled my eyes at all the “find your tribe and…

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Practice Pointers - Communicating Your Value

When I was on dating apps, my profile said I worked at “Yet Another Law Firm.” I thought it was cheeky at the time. But now that I’m a legal recruiter, I’ve realized that what I thought was a funny joke is unfortunately how so many lawyers very seriously brand themselves. How many of you have seen or have a LinkedIn profile that reads something like this? "Associate/Attorney at XYZ [firm/company/agency/nonprofit]." I.e., “yet another lawyer” at “yet another place.” As lawyers, we spend long days and nights advocating for and advising others. We get entrenched in minute details to provide…

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Practice Pointers - Avoiding a Haphazard Career

Some lawyers always knew they wanted to go to law school. Some went because they didn’t go to medical school (me) or didn’t know what else to do after college (also me). But either way, we all spent our academic years crushing it so we’d have bright careers ahead of us. And then we finally get there – the pinnacle of success that is the oh-so-coveted first real lawyer job. And it’s hard. And we’re working a ton, trying to get through the literal and figurative motions of day-to-day lawyer life. First year goes by, then the second, and so…

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